Arbutus: Arbutus in PEI

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by Michael Zinck, May 3, 2006.

  1. Michael Zinck

    Michael Zinck Active Member

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    Arbutus in PEI - Feb 2008 - New Leaves!

    Hello Everyone

    Well it has been months since the fall, August actually, since I have written here. Since then my arbutus was taken inside, yes Urban Legend, I just wanted to be contrary and prove you all wrong about arbutus and winter. Your description on dehydration I expect is exactly what happened to poor ole CB, he dried out in the deep cold we have here.

    Well I did listen this fall and I have early good news to report. My arbutus has budded! Yes end of February and I have new leaves. I'll have to be careful or I will sound like a proud papa.

    The bud started growing about 2 weeks ago and just Friday out came the new leaves. I have been watering it, about every 2 or 3 days just a cup of water over the winter, given our home is about 20c during the day and about 15c overnight. I moved him by the back patio door near Christmas because I needed the front window space for Christmas decorations. I never brought him back to the front.

    I think that as the days got longer and he got more sun that started to revive him from the winter hibernation. I admit I am surprised as I did not expect new leaves until April .
    So far so good. But I won't put him outdoors until I know the overnight temperatures will be above 0c or at least not below -5c.

    Not as grand as having one survive the winter outdoors but I will take this little victory to heart and see how this growing season goes.

    My thanks for everyone's advice.

    Michael
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2008
  2. Michael Zinck

    Michael Zinck Active Member

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    Arbutus in PEI - July 2008

    Hello all,

    Well my single Arbutus trees is doing well, it is not really adding any news leaves since the last bud opened in June but it, the stem, is beginning to straighten up.

    The big news is, thanks to Peter Lum, I have 2 new trees. He sent me the trees in their soil so I just have to put them into pots. The trees seem in good shape after their cross country trip with Canada Post though one tree may have loosened a bit in the soil.
    Both are outside on the deck meeting their cousin, quite the west coast family reunion.

    I will try and post a few pictures. My thanks to Peter for sending them along.

    Michael
     
  3. Michael Zinck

    Michael Zinck Active Member

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    Arbutus in PEI - pictures

    Group,

    Today was overcast with rain so I decided not to delay the potting of my recently arrived arrived trees. It seems though I have 2 trees in one soil grouping and I did my best to untangle them and pot them in separate pots. Obviously no guarantees, but if they were going to be tramatized by the move east I may as well get all the misery over with quickly.

    The sun is coming back out and I will explain the pictures.
    Left to right:
    Picture 1 - this is my 2 year old arbutus, hard to see from the photo but it is straightening out (the stem) and has produced 3 leaf sets this year.
    Picture 2 - this is the two trees which were in one package as provided by Peter. I used as much of his original soil, and he provided lots, at the base of the pots I did put some Island sandstone rock, broken up to aid drainage.
    Picture 3 - the third tree and it may have another tree at its base but it was too small to work with so I left it as is. Again except for some sandstone at the bottom of the pot I used the original soil.
    Also I inserted a bamboo stick and tied up the tree as it was just slumping and falling over. The top leaves are looking yellow and I might lose them but we'll see.

    The reason the trees are clumped into one corner with the flowers is that my deck is being repaired today (Saturday).

    Let's hope for the best.
    Michael
     

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    Last edited: Jul 19, 2008
  4. Michael Zinck

    Michael Zinck Active Member

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    Arbutus in PEI October 2008

    Group,

    Only one of the mailing Arbutus I received have survived. But it and my original tree are doing well. The new one added 6 inches of growth and 4 leaf sets, while my older tree added 5 inches and 3 leaf sets.

    Both in their pots and I have brought them indoors as frost time is upon us. I will try and get a picture posted.

    Michael
     
  5. Michael Zinck

    Michael Zinck Active Member

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    December 21, 2008

    Just a note to all that the 2 arbutus trees are indoors by my patio door, they get good daylight and are watered every 3 or 4 days. I actually just watch for the leaves on one tree to slightly droop and then I water them both and the leaves just curve back up.

    No growth at this time, in the past the bud will begin to grow in early March as the temperature goes up and the daylight is much longer.

    Merry Christmas!
    Michael

    ps - by request, photo added of both trees in the kitchen by the patio door. I have heard about the BC weather, this can't be good for arbutus.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  6. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Any pix?

    We are experiencing weather much like the East Coast, frigid bitterly cold temps... I would not be surprised to see many Arbutus in West Vancouver suffer from this wintery dessication.
     
  7. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    They'll be fine and have experienced real winter conditions before.


    Cheers, LPN.
     
  8. Michael Zinck

    Michael Zinck Active Member

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    Arbutus in PEI - 30 Jan 2009

    Hello,

    Well this was a surprise, came down this morning and noticed that one of my arbutus has a bud growing. This seems early to me as last year the buds did not start growing until late February. Would they normally bud this early even indoors??

    Picture attached.

    Thanks, Michael
     

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  9. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Lookin good, Michael. Is the plant in the same spot as last winter, or warmer?

    Regarding the hard winter, my in-law's tree in Mission had some leaf scorch when I saw it a couple weeks ago...this was a tough stretch of weather especially up there where the outflow winds really howl.
     
  10. Michael Zinck

    Michael Zinck Active Member

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    Hi

    It's in the same spot, by the patio doors. The back of the house lies east - west so the get sun all day. What I am hoping this year is I can find some more seedlings. With only 2 trees it is hard to experiment. If you know where I can find or buy more seedlings let me know.

    Thanks, Michael
     
  11. Michael Zinck

    Michael Zinck Active Member

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    Re: Arbutus in PEI 12 Feb 2009

    Hello

    Well one bud has broken into leaves and 2 other buds are growing, must be the longer daylight. Picture attached.

    Michael
     

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  12. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Looking very nice and happy there, Michael. I would have expected more troubles keeping this species inside overwinter, but yours look dark green with no reaction to the dry warm air indoors. Congrats!

    Like you say, the days are lengthening...I'm noticing things in the cold greenhouse budding, even putting on new growth now with temps still near freezing at night. I think we're gaining well over 3 mins. of daylight each day, yipee...

    Glen
     
  13. Michael Zinck

    Michael Zinck Active Member

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    Arbutus in PEI - 17 Feb 2009

    Group

    Two pictures of my 2 arbutus (indoors) and both ready to break into leaves. The other picture is just to show you what my backyard looks like. I have ordered some seeds, it was suggested I put them in a pot outside... and keep them at 2 to 4c, I think I'll have to wait a bit on that :-) .

    Michael
     

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  14. Michael Zinck

    Michael Zinck Active Member

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    Arbutus in PEI - 22 Feb 2009

    Hi

    Two photographs of my arbutus, the one that budded earlier, now has 2 new buds. The 'older' tree is clearly near to budding. I have received seeds from VanDusen and planted them with help from Glen (a poster on this site). I have one tray in the fridge and one tray in a crawl space to put them through the process of stratification. The other alternate I have is to bury them under snow outside.

    If all goes well then I hope after this 40 day period, they will be ready to sprout. That's the hope.

    Michael
     

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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
  15. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    You are having better luck than my transplants in the garden! How are you going to keep them protected, with drainage and air circulation and sunlight under the snow? The Arbutus unedo or A. compacta, may also be a worthy experiment for you due to their size?
     
  16. Michael Zinck

    Michael Zinck Active Member

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    That is a problem I will tackle when I reach it. The fact is my zone is simply too harsh for them, but to even try any experiments I need more then 2 plants. My hope is some will germinate and I will have some seedlings to experiment with.

    In regards to Arbutus unedo, I almost bought them by mistake when I ordered online. But maybe I should try them. I will wait and see how this year goes.

    In regards to drainage, soil on PEI drains very well unless it is solid clay you are in. I know from my earlier try that the plant will grow very well in the soil, rain and sun conditions. It's not necessarily the snow, but the cold without the snow, where the ground freezes and that kills the roots. See some earlier posts about this (last winter).

    If I can get the arbutus to germinate that's a first step, then we'll try transplanting and go from there.

    Michael
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
  17. Michael Zinck

    Michael Zinck Active Member

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    Arbutus in PEI - 28 Feb 2009

    Group

    Three pictures. The tree as a new stem that has grown near the centre (picture 2) and on the stem near base more growth is showing (picture 3).

    My other tree still has not budded but it's almost there.

    Michael
     

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    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
  18. Michael Zinck

    Michael Zinck Active Member

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    Arbutus in PEI - June 2009

    Group,

    Attached are 4 photographs of my 2 arbutus trees. One is up close and the other shows more of where it is planted.

    One is planted near the house (south facing) among some other plants, and the other is planted beside our rhododendrun bush. They were planted in late May and the one by the house came into leaf over a week ago, while the one by the rhodo just broke into leaf on Friday.

    The greenery on them in the pictures from February did not make it when I put them outside in late April, unfortuately a late hard frost hit the new leaves and they died, I just cut them off. The original leaves survived, though on the one by the house most of the original leaves have blackend and died, but on the other tree they sailed through the frost with no damage. Same location but different results.

    I did try stratifying some seeds but none made but I intend to try again and have enlisted another grower on the Island to help me and I will give him some seeds to try and stratify and maybe we'll get a few to sprout next spring.

    I shall keep trying in spite of the odds. Michael
     

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    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
  19. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    These (as I'm sure you're aware) are quite specific in their requirements, growing like weeds (naturalized) in favored areas, non existant elsewhere.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  20. sweetlemon

    sweetlemon Member

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    Remember to keep them as dry as possible in the summer, if you can. I'm hoping they manage to pull through for you despite the odds!
     
  21. Michael Zinck

    Michael Zinck Active Member

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    Arbutus in PEI - September 10, 2009

    Group,

    Attached are 3 pictures of my arbutus. The first is where I planted one of my trees next to the rhododendrun bush, you can see it has grown from late spring. A few of the leaves though have had pieces eaten out of them.

    The second tree was planted near the house, now after about a month the tree died and I don't know why, but a few weeks later a green leaf came out and as you can see the tree is regrowing from the root area. You can see where I cut off the dead stalk.

    For these 2 I will be placing large 5 gallon plastic buckets around them, putting mulch around the base and adding leaves to the bucket to create an insulation around the tree. From what 2 sources have told me that may keep the worst of the cold from the plant. Certainly it will keep them out of the freezing winds.

    The third picture is of 2 new trees I acquired from Arts Nursery in Vancouver. They were transplanted to the larger pots about 3 weeks ago. I mixed a lot of perlite into soil to make it as loose as possible so water would flow through. These 2 I will bring in for the winter in October.

    For those into the weather, we are already having frost warnings and it was down to 4c two nights ago, but the days remain above 15c.

    I shall keep trying. Michael
     

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  22. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    A labor of love Michael! Enjoy your little guys :-)
     
  23. Michael Zinck

    Michael Zinck Active Member

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    Arbutus in PEI - February 2010

    Group,

    My two potted arbutus which I brought indoors have begun to bud. This is just like in past years, once the days get longer in February mine start to bud. I will begin to harden them in April once I am certain the temperature is above 0c. Last year I tried to harden them too early and lost all the new growth.

    For us this has been a mild winter, with little snow and only 2 weeks at the -20c or colder range. My two outdoor trees are still covered, as per the pictures earlier, and I won't touch them until April, we can have hard late frosts.

    Two (2) pictures attached as proof of the indoor ones growing. They made it through another window just being watered once per week. Also the chewed off leaf in the first picture, the cat ate it, then promptly threw up!

    Michael
     

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    Last edited: Feb 15, 2010
  24. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Great news, and time for some catnip!
     
  25. greenthumbs

    greenthumbs Member

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    Hi there -
    Arubutus like to stress in rocky, dry environments. They do best when they are underwatered, have a sandy-glatial til type soil. They live in abundance in the pacific northwest expecially on vancouver island and to the south on the olympic peninsula.

    PEI may not be the best environment for it but it can survive there as you are in a marine environment and possibly share some similarity with soil combinations.

    Don't over water. Best to let the plant dry out and then do a soaker water job once in a while. If it is outside, it will be fine just absorbing the rainfall and mist from the ocean.

    Maronas/Arbutus look much more fragile than they are. Tough love is best with these trees. My husband and I transplanted two from an open field and we have had great success. They are in their third year in our front yard. I water them ocassionally in the dry summer months and the rest of the time they take care of themselves.
    We transplanted them in the fall and they had the whole winter to adjust. We covered the base with mulch to keep the plant warm and we fenced them off to keep the deer off them. They were two feet high when we planted them. Now they each stand over 5 feet.

    Hope this helps.
    greenthumbs-




     

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